Earlier today we took our kids ice skating at a local indoor rink. We have been wanting to take them ice skating all winter. You know how these things go. A month or so ago we planned a family date to go ice skating. All of the outdoor rinks were closed due to abnormally warm winter weather here in Wisconsin. We found an indoor rink with open skate on a Friday night. Awesome. Got there. Open skate cancelled due to high school hockey. Not awesome. Luckily, our kids are troopers and apparently used to disappointment. They rolled with it. The promise of hot chocolate helped.
So, finally, today we made it ice skating. Our boys were pumped. Our daughter is the youngest at three, so she is definitely along for the ride. Until we got there. We put the skates on her. All was going well while we walked out to the rink. She took one look at that ice and she was NOT having it. No, she did not want to skate. No, she did not want the walker/helper skating thingy. She would be held and that was about it. We are talking full-on tears. No screaming, though, so there is that. She looked adorable in her little striped wool sweater and pink hat, though.
Meanwhile, our seven year old is off and skating with the walker. He was figuring it out and eventually put the walker away and started actually, kind of skating. Our five year old clumsily used the walker for awhile but quickly ditched it in preference of being on his own. "I'm going to do tricks!!" He excitedly told me when I expressed a bit of concern. Pretty soon he started jumping on the ice. Sometimes he stayed on his skates, and sometimes he kissed the ice.
While all of this is happening, I am praying I manage to stay upright and that there is no unfortunate incident that involves an ambulance ride. So far so good. My jumper is still spending a fair amount of time on the ice. Our oldest son is back to using the walker after a run-in with his dad caused him to fall and bang his elbow. No ambulance ride needed. Our daughter has ventured out a bit with her dad kneeling on the ice behind her.
I am thoroughly enjoying this lovely family outing and am mildly impressed with myself that I have not managed to injure myself yet even after my five year old learned that holding onto Mom is not a great option at this point. I turn and see a sight that will forever be penned in my memory. No, this is not where an ambulance enters the scene (spoiler: there is no ambulance today). There is my little girl, in her striped sweater and pink hat venturing out onto the middle of the ice with her dad holding onto her two little hands. They were both smiling and I felt my heart swell. My husband has the absolute best balance of patience and persistence when it comes to helping the kids try new things and conquer fears. Our children have the best dad. And I have the best partner.
I smiled and enjoyed the moment...and then I took a picture.